Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Inkaba yeAfrica Project surveys sector of Earth from core to space



In the Xhosa language, ‘inkaba’ means ‘navel,’ the central point from which all energy, material, and knowledge emerge and are recycled. The word encapsulates a sense of total interconnectivity Uniting inkaba with yeAfrica adds a regional perspective to a project that has as its central focus the understanding of the dynamic interactions between the Earth and its life-support systems.

Following two years of workshops and proposal writing, the German and South African Earth science communities embarked in 2004 on a five-year program, Inkaba yeAfrica, to survey a cone-shaped sector of the Earth from core to space, intersecting its solid surface around southern Africa and its ocean basins (Figure l).The vision is to track the history of this sector's components back over at least the past 200 million years to understand Earth systems processes and their evolving interactions at different scales and rates.